Friday, October 22, 2004

Sesame Tofu with Quinoa

I've discovered quinoa, the ancient, super-nutritious, high-protein grain from South America. I've known about it for a while, but never tried cooking with it until I found a simple recipe in Cooking Light magazine and a box of the grain at Trader Joe's.

I wasn't blown away by the recipe, but I was pleased with the quinoa and plan on using it more often. Here's the recipe for Sesam Tofu with Quinoa:

  • 8 oz extra firm tofu, drained and cubed (I just used a whole package which was closer to 14 oz.)

  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds

  • Olive oil

  • 1 1/2 cups of vegetable stock (I upped it to 2 cups.)

  • 1 cup of uncooked quinoa (I upped it to 1 1/2 cups.)

  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions

Saute the tofu with the sesame seeds in olive oil for a few minutes. Remove tofu from pan and set aside. Fry the quinoa in the pan for a couple of minutes. Then, pour in the vegetable stock and salt. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat and let simmer for 20 minutes. When quinoa is finished, toss with tofu, soy sauce, and green onions.

I served this with spinach that I sauted with a little garlic and olive oil. While the dish wan't bad, I thought it was kind of bland. I splashed some lemon juice on it which helped brighten up the flavor a little. Normally, when I cook with tofu, I use a lot of seasoning and I let it brown in the pan. The tofu prepared in this dish had little to no flavor.

I did like the texture and flavor of the quinoa. Cooking it in a rich vegetable stock had a lot to do with the flavor, I'm sure. It was just as easy to prepare as rice or cous cous, so I will plan on using it in future recipes, just not this one. If anyone has any good quinoa recipes, let me know!

Monday, October 18, 2004

Eurasia Deli

Where can you get really good Chinese take-out, Boars Head Deli meats, beer and wine, a bag of Doritos, cat food, and Boozah (Lebanese style gelato)?

At the Eurasia Deli on Rt. 111 in Boxborough, Massachusetts, that's where! No need to travel to New York City, or even Cambridge, Mass! Yes, folks, a two mile drive from my house down a curving, wooded road through West Acton and Boxborough, will lead you to the new and amazing Eurasia Deli. Watch out for deer crossing the road if you venture out after dark.

I can now say that we are no longer lacking a decent Chinese take-out place. The food is really good. They use lots of fresh veggies and they even have "vegetarian tofu chicken" and other yummy meat substitutes, which is hard to find outside of the city. It's true, we have to drive to get there, but while we are picking up our dinner, we can stock up on beer and wine and whatever else we may need.

We were a little skeptical at first, wondering how someone could run a convenience store, sell a nice selection of beer and wine and make high quality Chinese food. But these people seem to know what they are doing. We've been twice since they opened this summer and we plan on going back many many times.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Is the Plate empty?

No, not quite empty -- just busy.

I haven't posted in a while. Work has been extremely busy, but a good, satisfying busy, not the out-of-control, stressful busy. Home life has also been busy. Or should I say "house" life?

If you know me, you know that I love two things - lists and plans. I find it very gratifiying to say that we've tackled almost all of the items on our house list that our home inspector recommended we deal with. Although we're taking care of these things, it seems that once one gets crossed off the list, more projects are spawned!

Some of the things we've been doing since the summer:

  • new front entryway and rot repair - DONE

  • new heating system - DONE (but needs temperature adjustments and a little bit more insulation)

  • window boxes - DONE and soon to be on TV!

  • paint garage door and porch steps - DONE

  • gutter installation on porch and garage - DONE

  • arborvitae planted in front of house - DONE

  • new basement windows - 1/3 done

  • new, secure hoses and shut-off valve on washing machine - DONE

  • new clothes drier vent that doesn't go through window - DONE

  • new storm door for enclosed porch - in progress and expensive!

  • removal of heating oil and possibly oil tank - yet-to-be-done and also expensive

I'm sure I'm forgetting something but this gives a good idea of what our summer (and now fall) have been like. Again, I must credit my father-in-law for at least 4 items on the list.

Hopefully my next post will be food-related. Note that we haven't been eating takeout all this time, but I haven't been too creative in the kitchen either. I am looking forward to the upcoming cold weekend days where I can make large pots of soup and home made bread!